A bit of a silver lining in the post-Sandy cloud. Connecticut residents and businesses that lost major appliances due to the storm will be eligible for financial incentives to upgrade them to more energy efficient models.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced today that the state will provide $3 million to fund the upgrades for appliances such as furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and refrigerators. Most of that money will come from the NU-NStar merger settlement fund. The catch – you will have to apply for the rebates by Dec. 31.

The governor also announced that special low-interest financing and on-utility bill payments will be available to those who choose to make energy efficiency upgrades while repairing damage caused by Sandy. It will apply to certain equipment, insulation and air sealing.

Those who use Sandy repairs as an opportunity to have energy audits will also be offered extended qualification times for any rebates they may be eligible for.

Information is available through the utility companies, the state insurance department and insurance companies, FEMA and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, among others. Or call the Connecticut Energy Information Line at 1-877-WISE-USE (1-877-947-3873).

Jan Ellen is CT Mirror's regular freelance Environment and Energy Reporter. As a freelance reporter, her stories have also appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Yale Climate Connections, and elsewhere. She is a former editor at The Hartford Courant, where she handled national politics including coverage of the controversial 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. She was an editor at the Gazette in Colorado Springs and spent more than 20 years as a TV and radio producer at CBS News and CNN in New York and in the Boston broadcast market. In 2013 she was the recipient of a Knight Journalism Fellowship at MIT on energy and climate. She graduated from the University of Michigan and attended Boston University’s graduate film program.

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